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Headline: Four Junior Golfers Enjoy a "Master-Ful" Experience at Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals; Colon & Pano Emerge Victorious
For Immediate Release: April 3, 2017
|Zachary Colon (above) and Alexa Pano enjoy a champion moment at the 2017 Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals.|
Norton, MA — It would have been an experience to remember no matter what the end result, but winning a divisional championship was beyond dreamlike for one Bay State native.
Zachary Colon, who resides in Bolton and plays out of The Haven Country Club, holed the second putt of the competition, from 15 feet, on the 18th green at Augusta National Golf Club to force a playoff in the Boys 13-14 division.
He went on to win the playoff against Clinton Daly to win the national championship.
“I don’t know how to describe it,” Colön said in an interview of the experience. “Unbelievable. Even better than what I imagined.”
Prior to his victory, Colon was approached by a familiar face - two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson – who gave him some sound advice.
CLICK HERE to read about that exchange and Colon’s memorable victory.
Also soaking in the thrill of standing atop the podium on Sunday was Alexa Pano, who posted her second victory in three years, this time in the Girls 12-13 division.
Pano was born in Westborough and her father Rick was a member at Marlborough Country Club before the family moved to Florida where they now reside.
This year marked Pano’s third appearance in the National Finals. The home-schooled seventh-grader from Lake Worth, Florida finished third in the Girls 7-9 division in 2014 and won the Girls 10-11 last year
CLICK HERE to hear an interview with Pano by Golf Channel’s Charlie Rymer after she won the girls 12-13 group at the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals.
The 2017 Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals represents the second straight year that the Bay State has had a junior golfer with local ties win a divisional champion.
One year ago, Michael Thorbjornsen, the 2015 Massachusetts Boys Amateur Champion who lives in Wellesley, captured the Boys 13-14 division title after collecting 23 points.
From start to finish, the Bay State was well represented. In addition to Colon and Pano, Brian Glennon of Cohasset GC and Gabrielle Shieh of Marlborough CC also advanced through three rounds of qualifying to earn a ticket to Augusta National GC this past weekend.
Tens of thousands of youngsters had the opportunity to qualify for the event, which began with more than 250 local qualifiers at courses across all 50 states last summer.
From there, the top finishers advanced through 50 subregionals to one of 10 regional qualifiers that included several USGA Championship and PGA Championship sites.
Finally, the 80 winners across the four age divisions earned a trip to Augusta National to participate in the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals on the eve of the 2017 Masters Tournament.
Registration for the 2018 Drive, Chip & Putt Championship is now available. CLICK HERE to get started.